One of the biggest missing pieces of the Flyers’ puzzle so far has been Kevin Hayes and it’s looking like he could be playing this weekend.
Hayes had to undergo his second abdominal surgery in less than 4 months on September 21st thus resulting in him sitting for the first 17 games of the Flyers’ season. The poor guy hasn’t caught a break this year but he’s looking stronger now. He’s been practicing with the team, hanging out at games, and such. Today, Alain Vigneault said in his press conference that Kevin has been ~campaigning~ for his return to the lineup to happen this weekend as the Flyers play the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars. AV said it’s looking like a possibility.
I have to start off by saying I love the use of the word “campaigning” because I am picturing him giving everyone a PowerPoint about why he’s healthy and why they should let him play. Like this is what I see:
Second, it’s good news he’s getting healthy and closer to being back. Hayes is a massive player for the Flyers and they’ve been falling silent without him. I just worry about him pulling this same injury again. He said he had this abdominal surgery in May and everything seemed alright, then he was skating in late September and he ripped that apart again. I hope he’s 100% healed up to avoid this happening again. I’d hate for that to happen to him again.
Kevin is just 29-years-old, he’s put up big numbers in the NHL before. Last year was a little rough on not just him but all the Flyers as they hit major turbulence that dislodged their season. Hayes played in 55 games with 31 points (12G 19A), a 52.1% Corsi For average across the season, 17:31 averaged per game, 60 hits, and 22 takeaways.
The Flyers are in a bit of a rough patch right now. I just talked a bit last night about how their offense is freezing up and they need something to give it that jolt once more. Get some of the guys who are usually so productive going once more and we’ll be cooking with gas. Not to mention, the Flyers can get stuck in their heads. Last season, when things fell apart, it was like a car gunning it while stuck in the mud. Everyone always talks about how important Kevin is to the Flyers on and off the ice, so his return could do wonders for the Flyers’ mentality, get them out of this little rut.
I highly doubt he’ll be playing tomorrow against Carolina but it’s looking like he’ll possibly play Saturday when the Flyers play the Stars in Dallas. If not there is the next game Tuesday when the Flyers take on the Flames at home. Face off against his cousin Matthew in his return perhaps. Regardless of what happens, I am excited for Hayes to be back. He’s one of my favorite players and we could use him going on an absolute tear right now. So let’s go, Kevin.
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